South runway of Bengaluru airport is CAT IIIB compliant

The airport can now handle flight operations during dense fog and poor visibility

The south runway of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has been upgraded to CAT III B compliant with effect from Thursday morning (December 31). This helps the airport to operate flights during inclement weather conditions and poor visibility.

A release from the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of the KIA, states that the south runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a Runway Visual Range as low as 50 metres and take-offs at 125 metres. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550m and 300m, for landing and take-off, respectively.

“Aiding smooth operations during low visibility are the newly-installed advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS), Airfield Ground Lights (AGL), meteorological equipment such as Transmissometre, Automatic Weather Observatory Station (AWOS), Surface Movement Radar (SMR) and other navigational aids,” states the release.

The BIAL said the Bengaluru airport is the sixth airport in the country and the only one in South India to have a CAT III B compliant runway.

“BLR airport has obtained regulatory approvals to operationalise the runway with successful completion of both trial and calibration flights followed by an inspection by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Airlines are required to deploy crew trained for CAT-III operations to make the optimum use of the facility,” the release states.

In 2019, the Bengaluru airport signed an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the airport. This four-year study is currently under way to develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting the onset of radiation-fog over the airport region.


North runway rehabilitation

The release also states that the rehabilitation of the north runway, which has been closed for operations from June 22, 2020, is underway. The rehabilitation includes strengthening and resurfacing of the runway as well as installation of LED Runway Centre Line lights and Runway Edge Lights. These enhancements will offer flexibility to operate in low visibility and adverse weather conditions, the release added.

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Sagar Biswas

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